Tui Samoa Cable arrives in Moataaa

Source: Samoa Government media release
Government’s vision for Samoa to be the Pacific ICT hub by 2020 took a leap frog today with the arrival of the Tui Samoa Cable at Moataa last week.

But that is not stopping government in exploring more fibre optic cable networks to leverage Samoa as the Pacific Hub in Information Communication Technology, reassures Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.

“The success of the Tui Samoa partnership has provided the Government with the confidence to facilitate new partnerships amongst other Pacific Islands for new submarine cable projects,” he elaborated in his acknowledgement speech.

“The next exciting project is the Manatua Cable linking Tahiti, the Cook Islands and Niue to Samoa.

“Not to mention a bold regional project called the “One Pacific Cable” which could potentially link Micronesia and Melanesia to Polynesia and involve 10 island nations (Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Republic of Marshal Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau and Samoa).”

The Prime Minister noted that among the strategic reasons for developing the Tui-Samoa Cable are to:

  • •          bridge the digital divide for the people of Samoa and our neighboring island nations
  • •          promoting economic and social developments
  • •          providing Samoa with access to fast, reliable and affordable wholesale broadband internet.

The other important deliverable for Tui Samoa is connectivity, will be a key driver in realizing the ambitions of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals for small island developing states including Samoa as we strive to ensure that we do not leave anyone or any place behind. This is especially true when only 18% of people in Least Developed Countries use the internet, compared with 80% in developed countries.

The Tui Samoa will ensure that Samoa, Wallis and Futuna and Vanua Levu Fiji will not be left behind.

“Connectivity is therefore a vital ingredient of structural transformation and sustainable development, and critical to the efforts of Small Island developing states to graduate from least developed status,” continued Tuilaepa. “Connectivity will be crucial to building resilience in our economy, so that we can tackle the many other complex issues we are confronted with, including climate change.”

The Prime Minister also complimented the support of our developments partners in making the Tui-Samoa Cable a reality.  The partners include;

  • •          Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and Australia Government for their extraordinary support of the Samoa Connectivity Project,
  • •          SSCC investors, directors and staff for delivering this project for Samoa
  • •          Alcatel Submarine Networks, the main supplier, as well as all our contractors local and overseas for all their hard work and commitment to make today a reality.
  • •          A big Faafetai to the Alii and Faipule of Moataa and Vaivase for your huge support for this project.
  • •          And the Government of Samoa whose vision and leadership in sponsoring the Tui-Samoa project that will result in a stronger more prosperous Samoa.

BACKGROUND FOR AMERICAN SAMOA

American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority has said it will connect with Tui Cable as it awaits its own connection to Hawaiki Cable, which is not slated to arrive in the territory until next year June.

An agreement has also been signed with Hawaiki, but in the meantime the CEO of ASTCA says it needs Tui Cable to increase its bandwidth capacity now, as the current company providing fiber optic cable on island — ASH-Cable — is basically at its capacity limit and is near to the end of its life span (2- 4 years, maybe). Hence, it has signed a letter of intent with Tui Cable.

However, ASTCA faces financial woes with its latest audit — FY 2015- 2016 — saying it needs a large influx of cash or revenue to keep it a ‘going’ concern.

It’s currently been given a second loan, the first was for $4.2 million and the second is for $10million; and it also has an application out to the US federal government for a $30 million loan.

 

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